Quantity is limited, so please remember to limit your order to just one 1/2-lb. bag so that others will have a chance to order some… 🙂
We have a real treat this week: our picker friend Will has harvested a few pounds of wild Porcini for you to try! (You can find Porcini in gourmet food shops in dried form, but it’s rare to find this mushroom available fresh because it doesn’t keep as well as chanterelles or morels…) This is the less abundant “Spring crop”, which often pops in the same mountain habitat as wild Morels. These mushrooms are also harvested here on the coast in the Fall, most often near sandy, conifer-filled, habitat, which means we might see them again come September or October!
Porcini is also known as “King Bolete” and is part of the family of mushrooms which have a spongy spore area, rather than a gilled spore area (like the button mushrooms you find in the stores). This spongy area can be peeled off (or not) before cooking – it’s really just the cook’s preference. If the spongy area is yellowish, I usually peel it, mainly for aesthetics…
The flavor is mild or nutty, never bitter, and the texture is meaty and firm. According to David Arora’s mushroom field guide, “All That the Rain Promises, and More…”, the Porcini, aka King Bolete, is “one of the most sought after of all mushrooms, delectable fresh or dried.”
Porcini should be refrigerated (in a paper or cloth bag so they can breathe), and not cleaned until just before you prepare to cook them. Cleaning can be as simple as brushing them lightly with a soft brush. It’s generally NOT advisable to use water to clean Porcini, as they could soak up the water and cook up mushy. Use your porcini within a day or two.
Here are a few recipes you can try (note: most recipes call for dried Porcini, and an ounce of dried is the equivalent of about 4 ounces fresh): Linguini with Clams and Porcini Mushrooms; Really Easy Mushroom Risotto.